President Cyril Ramaphosa and the African Union’s observer mission head, former president of Tanzania Jakaya Kikwete, and guests observe a moment of silence at the official announcement of South Africa's 2019 general election results at the Tshwane Events Centre in Pretoria on Saturday night. Picture: African News Agency (ANA).

Pretoria - Chief electoral officer Sy Mamabolo said on Saturday night that the 2019 general election had been more complex, more contested and more logistically demanding than the previous 10 elections in South Africa. 

"These elections are, without prevarication, the most complex, highly contested, and logistically demanding in our history as a country and as an institution. They have tested us like never before," Mamabolo said.

"Nonetheless and despite these challenges, it is out incontrovertible belief we have all come through this election even stronger as an institution."

Speaking during the announcement of the official results, Mamabolo applauded the electorate for engaging the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC)  and being active in exposing some of its shortcomings during the voting process, saying this would only serve to strengthen future operations. 

"As the electoral commission, we have learnt that there is always scope for evolution in systems, people and processes. Indeed, each and every aspect of the election is under the most intense scrutiny, not only by party agents, observers, and the media, but also by ordinary citizens and voters," Mamabolo said.

"Armed with cellphones, cameras and videos and linked to social media platforms, they have added a layer of oversight and monitoring that can only serve to enhance the quality and integrity of future elections." 

Mamabolo also highlighted the challenges such as printing costs that the IEC faced due to the high number of political parties contesting the election. The 2019 general election saw a record 48 parties battling it out at the ballot.

"We've also learnt that an exponential increase in the number parties presented the voter with greater choice while at the same time presenting challenges for electoral operations," Mamabolo said.

"This increase has most certainly added to the vibrancy and plurality of political opinion, and has given voters more choice than ever before."

African News Agency/ANA